iOS 4 vs iPhone OS 3.1.3: iPhone 3G Performance Comparison Video

By Jamie Pert - Jun 22, 2010

Of all the iOS 4 mayhem that has been venturing thru the internet these past few days, it seems more and more apparent that users are publishing, tweeting and blogging about bad experiences and problems with the latest update from Apple.

Most of the issues are coming directly from iPhone 3GS users who are having numerous issues, being anything from battery life problems to stressing the reason why Apple have omitted the use of custom home backgrounds with the iPhone 3G.

On top of this, iPhone 3G users have also had a moan, but most ultimately believe that they have had the best use out of the device, and now is the time to upgrade, especially since the 3G is around two years old. This would mean that most users are now legible for an upgrade, if they went on a two year plan that is. But if you are sticking with your 3G, you might want to rethink upgrading to iOS 4 for the time being.

We found this video on Gizmodo, which shows two iPhone 3Gā€™s side by side. One running the new iOS 4, the other running OS 3.1.3. In the video, you can see which of the two phones runs faster when running a number of different applications.

iPhone 3G users are not getting anything amazing by upgrading. They are not getting custom backgrounds, Bluetooth keyboard support, data protection, or even multitasking. The only real significant update they are getting is application folders and threaded emails.

So if you have updated your iPhone 3G, and have gone from a fairly fast bit of kit to a sluggish but usable phone, I recommend that maybe you switch back to your old software and wait for the iPhone 4 if you really want to see a difference.

What are your experiences with iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G?

Source: Gizmodo

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Also See: The iPhone Tracker: Apple are still watching, Consumers Still Unaware

  • Tony

    My 3G was so slow after the 4.0 update that I bought An iPhone 4 at the AT&T store a week after it was released

    • and exactly this was the point of the iOS 4 release for 3G’s.

  • LessTiff

    Not gonna change into 4.0, I'm completely satisfied with 3.1.3. Having read all those complaints I'm gonna get and save the version of iTunes that came just before 4.0, save 3.1.3 version ipsw file and cancel all the interaction with online purchases! I'm happy with the content that I have on 3.1.3 and definitely won't upgrade, at least to that crappy 4.0.

  • Mickey

    This is their marketing strategy so that u will go and buy the iPhone 4

  • Same here. iPhone 3G with OS 4…. Slow, crashy, overall problems.

  • Bruce

    Have 3G iPhone. Before updating to OS 4, was very happy with phone. Since I updated the OS the speed is much slower and sometimes applications close on their own. Went to local ATT store. Was told by the store manager that he had NEVER heard of any of those problems with the 3G iPhone. The thing that was amazing was that his staff had just completed my sentence when I started to tell her about the problem. The OS problem is one thing, ATT staff lying with a straight face is another. Wonder if he used to work for BP?

  • margaret

    Update download took a while to get on my computer (kept crashing). iOS 4 is very slow on my 3G. What a bummer. Kinda want to go back in time now. Can I downgrade?

  • Carlos

    honestly, I think the iOS 4 is not for the 3G, I made the mistake and upgraded and it became totally slow and sometimes unusable, to help others, I was able to downgrade to 3.1.3, just look up the “how to” video on youtube, and that will help

  • Rob

    Hmmm, Well, I just upgraded to OS4 on my 3GS.

    Itunes managed to create a stop error in Win7, and I had to reboot both my PC & phone to get them to talk to each other again. Itunes just kept saying 'error' when trying to communicate with the phone/

    Performance seems worse on OS4. With OS3 things scrolled smoothly and I was really impressed with the way the apps were so 'fluid'.

    Now, I get glitches, jumps and lag when scrolling around šŸ™

    Not very impressed, I have to say.

    I'll give it a few days, then I guess I have to go back to OS3 šŸ™

  • Tim

    I updated the software and have had all the same problems listed above. Att also needs to expand their coverage. I pay to much money for the non 3G service I get. I have lots of friends with Verizon and their coverage blows Att out the water. Thanks Att and Apple for this soon to be paper weight.

  • BACK UP YOUR PHONE BEFORE YOU UPGRADE. I upgraded and the internet (Safari) stopped working. It began working for no apparent reason the next day. The worst part was that the upgrade deleted almost all of my photos on my iPhone (about 700 of them), but managed to save 8 photos, very odd. I went to the genus bar and inquired if there was a way to recover the deleted photos and the genus said since the iphone uses flash memory, the deletion was ireversable. Does anyone know of a way to recover deleted photos from a iPhone, maybe some software that can do it? Unlike most commenters, the upgrade does seem to improve performance of the iPhone for me. The lesson I learned was to BACK UP YOUR IPHONE BEFORE YOU UPGRADE. Take care everyone!

  • Lance

    Unbelievable that Apple would do this to us… I wish I never upgraded to the OS4 software cause I not only couldn't restore from the backup but it's slower in performance. Not happy.

  • Richard W

    OS 4 on my iphone 3G sucks, slow buggy, crashes, if this was the experience I had when I first purchased an iphone I would have thrown it in the bin. I suspect a trick to force us to get new iPhone 4 . Apple not good form, undoing all your good PR.

  • Brad A.

    I also had the same problem as Paul reported upgraded "3GS and lost all internet capabilities, apple couldn't tell me why nor AT&T."

    My experience… Well, I bought my 3gs back in July of 2009 and every single problem I ever had to call about the tech person said (at some point) "This is strange I've never heard or seen of this problem before." How do I get so lucky to always get the flukes?

    Right after I had upgraded to ios4 on my 3gs I was very happy and had no problems at all! Battery was great etc. Then I went and tried to open Safari when i was in a call to look up a question my friend had. I was kinda shocked and thinking wtf when a popup opened over the safari screen that read something like "Safari can't connect to cellular data network while in a call." FYI, this wasn't considered multitasking in 3.1.3 but it was still a major feature/point behind me getting the iphone to begin with.

    So, I called and they couldn't figure out my problem over the phone. I had to go to my local apple store and have them assist me. (FYI going to the apple store is almost always going to be your best bet. In my experience that is.)

    When I got to the apple store the first thing the guy at the counter said to me was "How do u have the ios4 already?" I was like "it came out yesterday at 1:00pm our time. He seemed shocked that I said that… They hocked my 3gs up to there mac and the test said everything was working properly. The apple genius though could see that wasn't the case at all. (Did i mention the same popup came up with other apps while in a call?) He did a software reset and everything he knew how.

    Then he finally said the only thing I can do for u anymore is "GIVE YOU A NEW PHONE." (same model I had obviously) I was like heck yes!! I had only 20 days left on the warranty and after explaining all the problems I've had with my iphone to him. He agreed with me that it was well worth it for him to just give me a new phone. So that is exactly what he did!

    Since I've had my new phone the two most annoying issues I've had (this is ios4 problem obviously since the iphone is brand new!) are 1.) Battery life, and 2.) Random glitches from time to time (too many to name at this point!).

    I personally expected apple to have most of the bugs worked out by the time the update was available to the general public. I personally expected this cause of the fact that I knew the prerelease was out to developers far enough in advance to test and such. It was wishful thinking on my part. I should have expected that to happen with a big update such as ios4 even if it was apple's responsibility.

    I hope to see a update soon that addresses key problems users have been reporting with ios4. Hopefully apple gets it right with the ios4.1 update. šŸ˜›

  • Corey

    Upgraded to 4.0 and it’s horrible in my 3G. Texting is miserable and lags (SMS and in web pages), doesn’t load web pages as efficiently as before, the phone tends to freeze more when losing web pages or when opening up SMS applications. I usually restart the phone when it starts running too slowly for a temporary fix.

    And the predictive text drives me nuts and right now it’s clutching in displaying what I am typing. I can’t see so I there are errors my bad. Like I said it doesn’t load t. Can’t see. It doesn’t load text boxes like it use to and is miserable. I want to go back to 3.1.3 asap

  • Eteurf

    Just upgraded my 3GS to the OS 4 and it completely killed my phone…. cant turn it on now and iTunes does not reconise the device so cant even restore it to the factory settings!! they better sort this out

    • Bill

      I had the same problem. Went to the Apple Store and they got me running agin. After coming home to restore all my Apps, calendars, email, contacts etc. I can't stand how slow it has now become. I think I will be looking for that downgrade this evening. UGGGGHHH

  • Turniplord

    @James – I have a iPhone 3G and i was on ios4, Tried it for a few days then downgraded, if you search on google you will find the method….

    It bascially involved downloading the 3.1.3 firmware, putting the phone into recovery mode, recovering from itunes to the 3.1.3 (forced by holding shift) and then installing .net v4 and a program called RecBoot to bring the iPhone out of recovery mode

    All in all it took me about 2 hours to fully recover back to 3.1.3 but the majority of that was downloading and installing .net4 on my windows 7 because it kept failing when i was trying to install……

    After putting it back to 3.1.3 though my battery still drains really quickly so i dunno if there is a part of it that hasn't fully downgraded – i'm going to try another restore ina few moments though

  • Matt

    Upgraded my 3g to iOS4, and have been regretting it every since. The phone has become so slow in many scenarios that it is *almost* unusable.

  • Keith

    Actualy didn't have a choice to upgrade one app I use every day said it wouldn't work without OS4. Performance is awful, also bugs, notes syncing is flaky, wall paper is weird etc etc. re can I replace? Plan won't run out for 2 months so stuck.

  • Jeremy G

    Ever since I got the update to iOS4, my 3G has been unusable. It crashes every time I try to use it and is stuck in recovery mode. I have got it to recover and it would just freeze on the apple screen. I hate it.

  • San

    I upgraded my 3G to OS 4 just a few days ago. I’m a big gmail user and the threaded emails feature is a big thing for me. However the phone runs notably slower and typing is a real nuisance with this spell check they added. The 3G was never designed to run some of these features. Especially not multitasking. I think if they had added to 3G it would be ridiculously slow. I am really considering going back to 3.1.3.

  • James

    anyone know how to go back to os3.1.3 wiithout risk and a major hassle?

  • Adam

    The day after I upgraded my 3G to ios 4, I started with a full charge in the morning but barely made it to 3pm without recharging (normal phone use). The calendar crashes 30% of the time I try to use it, and Google Maps is now all but unusable. Playing the iPod, the music stops for no particular reason and then starts again. Lots of odd bugs especially when on a call and I try to use any of the phone’s other features. Jittery and slow performance of nearly every app. A very poor user experience.

  • Skipandrun

    I am using 3g and days before i updated to ios4. I got big difference especially for the speed. Most of the programs turned too slow even on sms. What i did is i downgraded back to 3.1.3. So for you guys who got dissapointed on ios4, better downgrade for now (just download the ipsw 3.1.3) and wait for the apple’s response.

  • wmzinn

    Upgraded my 3gs to 4.0 only a few days ago, and have continuous glitches, from no 3g or edge coverage to the fact that I was no longer having to capability to take photos directly from the messaging service. The folders were nice to have, but there was no other items that jumped out at me. As I write this review, the phone is being restored to factory settings.

  • Libby

    iPhone 3G glitchy – iPod crashing/jumpy since upgraded to 4.0 (which took 3.5 hrs as upgrade stalled/crashed). Can do without threaded emails. Chewing through the battery. Seriously considering reverting back (if I can).

  • Josh

    i still with 3.1.2 jailbroken and runs perfect will not upgrade to 4.0 anytime soon… PEOPLE…. this is what you get for desperation…like me i waited to see what issues are for 3G

  • Paul

    I upgraded my and my girlfriends phones to 4.0 on our 3GS's and lost all internet capabilities, apple couldn't tell me why nor AT&T. I finally restored it to factory settings and it works fine now. Try that if you have any perfomance issues, especially if your iPhone was jailbroken at any point.

  • Kathleen

    Lost all my contacts ugh……………..

  • Doug

    iPhone 3G glitchy and painfully slow after OS4 upgrade. No new functionality either, I can do without threaded email. Multitasking was the only important aspect of this upgrade, and I found out after the fact that 3G users can't get it anyway.


  • JojoJack

    I upgraded to 4.0 on a 3g and it definitely slowed down my phone. I don’t understand why apple would even put out an update that doesn’t work well with all levels. There was a point and time that I had my phone jailbroken and it was capable of doing everything the 3gs’ upgrade could do plus more. And, it ran smooth!!! Why is that?!? Shouldn’t apple’s ungrades be better than the jailbreaks???

  • Kori

    I have the 3G and I went to upgrade and it actually crashed my whole phone. This wouldn't be a problem if I had a backup on my computer but recently my computer died so I got a new one. I had not yet sync'd my phone with the computer so there was nothing I could do! The tech suggested I go find another computer and try that. Of course that didn't work. AND he actually said to me "well this is new so we're still testing" Luckily I had at one time used my sisters computer to charge my phone and it had somehow backed up my phone on her itunes so I was able to get it back to the settings from Jan 2010. All my apps are lost now šŸ™

    • killer thriller

      You should be happy that you have your iPhone active right now. Cuz the same thing happened to my friend's iPhone and he formatted his HDD and he wasnt able to restore his iPhone 3g (he owns 4G now)

      About your apps, quit worrying about it and download installous and you will be able to download all your apps there (more or less)

  • Smudged

    I'm running ios4 on a 3G and have yet to notice any performance issues so far. Seems to be ok for battery life too.

  • David Frederick

    IOS4 for the iPhone totally sucks! Dont upgrade. It makes a mess of your phone, eats up your operating ram and doesnt allow you to sync ring tones, etc. etc.etc. Bad OS for the iPhone 3G